A Sibling’s Experience

When a brother or sister dies, the world changes in a heartbeat. Oftentimes when such a loss occurs, others fail to recognise that the surviving sibling faces emotional battles on many fronts while working through the loss.

Common Reactions:

The loss of a brother or sister is a major life event. Some days we think that we are coping and then may have a period of feeling intense grief. We may feel scared and worry that we have taken a step backwards when in fact most of us experience grief in this kind of back and forth way.

  • Shock, Numbness, Denial, Anger
  • Feeling neglected (Siblings are often referred to as the “forgotten mourners” when compared to their parents)
  • Withdrawing
  • Questioning your role in the family – Are you suddenly an only child, the eldest etc?
  • Feeling protective of parents and any remaining siblings
  • Tired or restless
  • Guilt over past arguments with your sibling

Grief is different for everybody; there is no right or wrong way to behave.

Avenues of Support

Support Avenues for Siblings

Helpline, 24 hours, 365 days – grief-support phone line provided by members who have been trained as peer-support volunteers. Call us, or we can call you.

The Compassionate Friends Victoria Siblings Support Group 

Brothers and Sisters Facebook group 

Siblings Connections  Closed group for bereaved siblings; established by the Canterbury Siblings Support Group. If you would like to be part of this group (where you can interact with other siblings through posting comments and links) click JOIN and one of the page administrators will be in contact with you.

Siblings Newsletter

Many schools, universities and work places have a counsellor or support system to help with personal difficulties such as grief.

When I attended my first Compassionate Friends sibling support group meeting, for me, it was like a fog lifting. It was the first time I had been able to talk to others like me, feeling the same loss and anger and utter sadness that I felt. As the years have passed, my grief has changed. I still miss my brother terribly and I grieve the things that should have been. But I have also found a kind of peace, largely due to being able to help others through my association with The Compassionate Friends Victoria.

Contact The Compassionate Friends Victoria for more information and support

Phone (03) 9888 4944, Country Victoria Free Call 1800 641 091